Be careful what you say during surgery, doctors.
There are a lot of despicable doctors out there, ranging from those who murder their patients to those who are downright insane. Other doctors, however, can be despicable without even realizing it.
Walter Freeman is known in history as the father of the lobotomy, an infamous procedure that involved hammering an ice pick-like instrument into a patients brain through their eye sockets. The horrifying procedure often left patients in a vegetative state and is responsible for an estimated 490 deaths.
They dubbed him the babymaker. Cecil Jacobson was a US fertility doctor who was indicted in 1992 for using his own sperm to impregnate his female patients.
Dermatologist Richard Sharpe turned out to be a sharp-shooter, ending his wife Karen’s life with a rifle shot, a bull’s eye—sinking lead deep into her chest.
In July 2012, a pathologist was found shot and stabbed to death in his Lubbock, TX home, the result of a murder-for-hire plot perpetrated by a plastic surgeon whose evil motive can be traced to 1 of the 7 deadly sins: envy.
One of the most atrocious eras in human history is without a doubt the Holocaust. About 11 million people, including approximately 6 million Jews, are estimated to have been slaughtered at the hands of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Thomas Harris is an American author best known for a series of suspense novels that showcased one of the most despicable fictional doctors ever. His second novel, Red Dragon, published in 1981, introduced his most infamous character, the cannibalistic killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The books sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, was published in 1988, and the story was made into a major motion picture starring Anthony Hopkins as the dreadful Dr. Lecter, catapulting the murderous evil character into superstardom.
Jack the Ripper is the most notorious of all serial killers. There have been more books written and more movies made about him than any other murderer in history. The case of the infamous criminal has fascinated people for more than a century, and most intriguing of all is the fact that no person was ever charged with the crimes. Suspects have run the gamut, from barbers, lawyers, and famous authors, to even doctors. However, Jack the Ripper may have finally been identified, according to a UK businessman who privately funded an investigation into the 19th century case, and it turns out the killer wasnt a doctor, but a 23-year-old Polish immigrant named Aaron Kosminski.
Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo seemed to be at the peak of her career. As a tenured associate professor at the University of Texas, she specialized in breast cancer and was chief of clinical research and drug development at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her research has been funded by big-name players in the field, including the National Cancer Institute, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and Komen for the Cure. She was also chair of the Endocrine Resistance Working Group, and a member of the Correlative Sciences Working Group for the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium, the Breast Cancer Committee of SWOG, and the BIG-NABG Triple Negative Working Group. With such sparkling success, its a wonder why Gonzalez-Angulo would risk giving all that up by attempting to kill someone.
Almost as soon as Dr. Jayant Patel’s medical career began, colleagues questioned his surgical skills. Complaints of gross incompetence and negligence ignited inquiries from medical authorities, causing Dr. Patel’s license to be restricted in the state of Oregon in 2000. He then moved to New York, where after a short time, medical authorities pressured him to surrender his medical license in that state for reasons of professional incompetence in 2001.
This column usually deals with real-life doctors who broke their oaths, committed despicable crimes, and almost always ended up in prison to pay for their transgressions. But in honor of author Mary Shellys birthday (August 30, 1797), whose most famous novel, Frankenstein, has been turned into many major motion pictures, wed like to take a quick look at some of the most dangerous doctors in the history of film.
What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel…ah, never mind.
Dr. Arthur K. Zilberstein, a 47-year-old anesthesiologist licensed in the state of Washington since 1995, has had his medical license suspended after it was alleged that he had been sexting while on duty at his hospital, including during surgeries he was assigned to, among other digressions.
A bespectacled, unassuming man who stood only 5 3 tall, Hawley Harvey Crippen fulfilled his childhood interest in medicine by graduating from the University of Michigan School of Homeopathic Medicine in 1884, and then securing an MD from Clevelands Homeopathic Hospital.
After medical school, he moved to New York and got a job with a homeopathic pharmaceutical company run by a Dr. Munyon. Shortly afterward, he met and wed Charlotte Bell, a nurse, and the couple had a son, Otto. In 1892, Charlotte died suddenly of apoplexy (a former medical term for a stroke). Crippen couldnt handle the stress of raising his son alone, so he persuaded his parents, who lived in California, to take total responsibility for the upbringing of his 2-year-old son.
He was suspected of killing 163 of his patients between 1946 and 1956. Many died under suspicious circumstances. It was widely believed that his murder weapon was a cocktail of morphine and heroin, administered via lethal injections. What’s more, most of his dearly departed elderly patients included the doctor in their wills; he even assisted in rewriting the wills for some of them. In the process, Dr. John Bodkin Adams became one of Britain’s wealthiest general practitioners. Yet when he was tried in court, in a sensational trial in 1957, a jury found him not guilty of the one murder charge brought against him. The bottom line was that there was a mountain of suspicious circumstances, but not a single piece of compelling evidence. In addition, several witnesses who testified against the doctor, including a nurse, were discredited during his trial, making their testimonies for the prosecution not very reliable or believable. As for the money his dead patients willed to him, the doctor claimed that it consisted of fees he neglected to charge those patients while under his care.
Torture techniques conjured up in medieval times, especially the gruesome methods employed during the Crusades, took a giant leap forward thanks to Dr. Shiro Ishii’s diabolical imagination. The human suffering he was responsible for remains unimaginable and incomprehensible. He is infamous for being the director of a biological warfare research and testing program of the Imperial Japanese Army that existed from 1937 to 1945 during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II.
In 2002, a patient was lying face down on an operating table with an open incision in his back, about three-quarters of the way through an intensive 6-hour-long spinal surgery being performed by Dr. David Arndt at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. During the surgery, Dr. Arndt repeatedly asked one nurse if she could find out if his paycheck had arrived.
They just wanted to look a little trimmer in the tummy and lose a little weight, but 2 patients lost their lives instead during their liposuction procedures. Dr. Peter Normann was an internist, an emergency room doctor, and not a plastic surgeon, yet he performed liposuction surgeries on unsuspecting patients at his clinic in Anthem, Arizona. Dr. Normann never entered a residency in plastic surgery or anesthesiology; he did have about 6 days of training in liposuction and breast augmentation, but he certainly wasn’t qualified to perform such operations. What’s more, he had no training in fat augmentation, yet he performed a buttocks enhancement plastic surgery on at least 1 patient, who died as a result of gross medical incompetence that led to a critical surgical error. It gets worse.
She got married when she was 18 years old and had 2 children, but in 1898, she left her husband and children to pursue her medical career. Linda Burfield Hazzard had some training as an osteopathic nurse and no medical degree, but a loophole in the law in the state of Washington granted her a license to practice medicine. The obscure law awarded medical licenses to a few practitioners of alternative medicine who did not have a medical degree but were grandfathered in, and Linda was one of the lucky recipients. Her degree described her as an osteopath.
Born on the island of Cyprus, Josephakis Charalambous was 8 years old when his parents immigrated to Canada, settling in Vancouver, British Columbia. Although he was close to his mother and sister, somewhere in his upbringing, he came to despise women and view them merely as sexual objects. He was known to engage frequently with prostitutes to satisfy his seemingly insatiable sexual drive and desire to control women. It is said that the reason Charalambous wanted to become a doctor in the first place was to attract women with his professional status. But once he became an MD, women didn’t flock to him as he imagined.
From 1942 through 1944, Dr. Marcel Petiot, a highly respected physician in his community, saw an opportunity to build his personal wealth during the insanity of World War II in Paris. It was a black period in Parisian history, when Jewish families hoped to escape slaughter. It was a surreal time in Paris as World War II was raging; and disappearances were commonplace in the Nazi-occupied city. There was nowhere to turn. Fearing for their lives, Jews couldn’t report missing persons to the Nazis.